Five arrested with fake COVID-19 certificates at Lagos airport

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Fake COVID-19 certificate

The Nigeria Police, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos Command has arrested and paraded five COVID-19 certificate suspects at the airport, while two others are still at large.

The suspects, the police said, deal in selling fake COVID-19 negative certificates to unsuspecting travellers within the international wing of the airport.

Briefing journalists on Thursday, the Commissioner, Airports Command, Mr Bature Umar, said the incident occurred on February 19 at the airport where a British Airways passenger was defrauded of the sum of N50,000 for COVID-19 test.

According to the commissioner, one of the suspects had approached the victim, promising to produce a COVID-19 test negative certificate for him.

Umar explained that one of the suspects took the victim to a Cybercafe where a fake COVID-19 negative certificate was eventually procured for him.

Despite the payment, he said, the victim who was on his way to London, the United Kingdom was denied boarding by the officials of the airline based on the fake COVID-19 negative certificate he presented at the counters.

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He emphasised that the victim immediately raised the alarm, which led to the arrest of four suspects and a guarantor to one of the two suspects at large.

Umar explained that the combined team of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Aviation Security (AVSEC), a department in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) laid an ambush for the suspects before they could be arrested.

On interrogation, Umar explained that the suspects confessed to the crime, but claimed that it was their first time of engaging in the criminal activity.

He, however, said that further investigations by the police revealed that the suspects had been in the heinous crime for several months, vowing that the command would not relent in his activities at exposing criminal activities within the airport.

He said that the suspects would be paraded in the court of competent jurisdiction on Friday and advised the travelling public to the wary of activities of criminals within the airport.